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Court acquits man over secret beach pics

Rebecca Martin · 5 Dec 2011, 07:00

Published: 05 Dec 2011 07:00 GMT+01:00

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“What’s wrong with photographing beautiful women?“ the man said when questioned by police, reported newspaper Metro.

The man, reportedly in his fifties, was hiding in the bushes near a beach in Huddinge, south of Stockholm, when he was caught taking photographs of bathing mothers and playing children.

Witnesses, catching the man red-handed, snapped their own photo of the perpetrator in the act.

The man was subsequently reported to the police for taking pictures of the women and children without their consent.

However, the man was later acquitted by the Södertörn District Court, which ruled that the man was innocent of sexual harassment (sexuellt ofredande) as the women and children were unaware of the man taking their pictures until after he was exposed.

“I was there to take pictures of the cliffs and the sea,” said the man when questioned, according to Metro.

Story continues below…

Despite this, the 50-year-old would-be nature photographer’s camera revealed several snaps of bikini-clad women and children, the paper reported.

Rebecca Martin (rebecca.martin@thelocal.se)

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Your comments about this article

09:24 December 5, 2011 by RobinHood
Remember mums and dads, next time you see a paedophile taking pictures of your bathing children, give him a friendly smile and a cheery wave while he pleasures himself with images of you and your little ones - all with the blessing of, and under the protection of Sweden's logical and most excellent sexual offences law.

Julian Assange is wrong to suggest he will not get a fair trial under Swedish sexual offences law. Of course he will, and this case proves it beyond doubt.
10:47 December 5, 2011 by Kevin Harris
In Sweden, it is lawful to have sex with animals and to take pictures of small children for sexual gratification. But it is a crime to bring home a hedgehog. So, to all you hedgehog fanciers out there, I strongly advise you to have sex with your hedgehogs outdoors and never bring them home for "coffee".

By the way, while children and animals are fair game, don't even think about having sex with a prostitute. Now that is against the law.
11:48 December 5, 2011 by Central European
Rob bin Hod :

So stop pleasure itself by law then ok ?

Each human beeing ´d receive chip and control camera.

Everyone who is proved pleasure him/her self by its personal chip have to document his innocence by pictures of control camera that he/she has been doing it just over authorized pictures.

Immediately when reading minds devices will be developed this law must be widened from authorized pictures to authorized thoughs and images.

Even more make all pictures in newspapers, tv, books, paintings, advertisings, galleries, museums, banknotes etc proved or unproved for pleasuring over please.

I love Mona Lisa, everyone who pleasure him/her self over her picture must be punished!
12:07 December 5, 2011 by yourkidding
Let me see....If you take pictures of stangers without their consent, thats legal. So then, I guess if you take pictures of them with their consent, that must be a crime....or?'

I have never seen so many messed up, bizzare court rulings in my entire life as I have since I came to Sweden.
12:33 December 5, 2011 by Opinionfool
At least the Swedish "justice" system is consistent in its decisions. This one matches the one The Local posted a few months ago on the case of the drunk girl who was stripped and photographed but was not in the court's opinion "molested" because she was insensible at the time the crime occured. See http://www.thelocal.se/36882/20111021/
13:32 December 5, 2011 by RobinHood
@Central European

That was truly the funniest post ever to appear on The Local.
14:21 December 5, 2011 by Central European

The pleasure is all mine.

I have been checking how many picutres of Pacifik, Atlantik and Mediterranean beaches with ladies in bikini and kid am having in my library, well is more than 1000 on disk and few albums from older times....

It would be good fun to ask all peoples for an agreements to have them all on pictures ....
17:26 December 5, 2011 by seekingthetruth
The women choose to be indecent in pulblic then if someone takes their photo that is what they wanted right. What happened to women and there honor and modesty int he world? I avoid beaches so my sons do not see this.
18:57 December 5, 2011 by spo10
50-year old pedo on the loose...
01:06 December 6, 2011 by GLO
Dress like a hooker in public, your open game!
03:48 December 6, 2011 by Grokh
i thought sweden had hardened its stalker laws...
04:15 December 6, 2011 by swenrika
I don't get it...

When you are in PUBLIC and somebody takes a pic it "may" be illegal ??? now this is not only in Sweden...

Take this, a naked Woman walks down the public beach... you snap a pic.. off to jail you go for sexual harassment, stalking or something ??

Would that really happen?

And imagine this, you snap a pic of Stockholm, somebody walks up to you that just happened to be in the pic when you presses that dreaded button and demands to be out the pic.. you have to delete it? or can you just blotch him out at home?

I still say, you in public, you are fair game, the laws are becoming over protective.
09:27 December 6, 2011 by RobinHood

You don't get it. I will explain.

The pictures in the gentleman's camera were of bikini clad women and naked and semi-naked children - taken without their consent from a concealed position. That on its own is sufficient to be classified as stalking in many more civilised countries.

The pictures, because of their nature, were certainly taken for the gentleman's sexual gratification. The pictures of the children are particularly disturbing. An examination of the gentleman's hard drive (not done) would almost certainly reveal more pictures of more children, and a strong interest in internet child pornography. He may be involved in the trading of his pictures of undressed children with other gentleman who share his "interest"; that is a common event amongst gentleman of this nature. We do not yet know if the gentleman has yet gone beyond looking at pictures children for sexual purposes to actually assaulting them; but that is the usual next step in the development of a paedophile. Child sexual crimes experts have pointed out that Madeleine McCann was a particularly photogenic child and may well have been photographed and her images exchanged between gentlemen in the days before her kidnapping, attracting an interest in those who would do her harm.

I hope you now understand (unlike the Swedish law) that taking pictures of other people's naked children is an extremely serious symptom of an extremely serious and dangerous sexual deviancy. Children in public are absolutely not "fair game" for paedophiles to photograph and exchange and masturbate over. Never! And the sooner you, and Swedish law recognises this, the better.

Do you get it now?
15:35 December 6, 2011 by Central European
would almost certainly ????

This is pretty good example of sentence how to get almost 99 percent of father of small kids to jail eaasily.

Everyone on beach with phone with camera who make a "clap" is trapped.... hurrah we are extremlly succesfull with fight of deviators.
19:42 December 6, 2011 by KungsholmenGuy
Comment: Robinhood for the record, this particular account of the event never once says that the children in the photos were naked. Agree that he may have a computer full of child pornagraphy, and the police could have taken this event as probable cause to justify a search of his computer, which he would have had no grounds to refuse, after his conduct.

On a related topic, I guess I'm over the hill but Swedes tend to be rather liberal with child nudity. People can do whatever they want in the privacy of their backyards, but at the change rooms in Eriksdals badet for example, many men have daughters (some appear to be up to 5 or 6 years old) running naked all around the men's showers and change area, well away from the father, which seems a bit much to me at times.

Finally the consent rule for photo taking seems rather odd. If I take a photo of 1000 people do I need to get signed consent forms from all of the people in the photo?
22:16 December 6, 2011 by swenrika
@RobinHood - thanks for the reply, but i got it first time round.

My argument is.. do we now report every photographer for possibly having taken pictures of ... ? just to be safe, after all, they get arrested, nothing found then they are released, right? no harm done right? besides the inconvenience of lost time, everybody seeing you get arrested, possibly the media sees it, but hey, not found anything, no charges, no worries... cool world .. right ?

Is it not breeding a nation of reporting everything as suspicious, of being a "stasi" (google it) State , where everybody is suspicious of everybody and keeping tabs on everything?

Does everybody have to suffer because of a few rotten ones ?

As much as a pedophile should not be allowed to satisfy his urges, I for one would be extremely pissed if somebody reports me of snapping pics of whatever i like.

Also remember, by reporting everything you are labeling people, they now have a "Police presence" and this stigma will follow them for LIFE as the records are always kept, you don't have a criminal record, but the docket is open, your name is in it and thus you are now a KNOWN person.

Would you like that ?

If you are 100% sure of what you believe, then by all means report it, just think back a few weeks to the sister reporting the family which subsequently was split for a few months although nothing happened. THAT is the consequence of reporting everything, THAT is what I have a problem with.


You got it matie, by law you would need to get the permission of ALL 1000 people. If you where to put your holiday pic online and one of those 1000 sees it, they can demand you remove it. If you where to use the pic and publish it in a magasine, like say a report from Barcelona, all 1000 people could demand payments from you as you are making money from using them. Sort of like a model fee. And it has happened already. Sick hey?
20:06 December 9, 2011 by BritVik
I wonder if there is anyone out there who can make sense of Swedish court rulings and punishments. One court says this, another says the direct opposite, and for serious crimes they simply hand out slaps on the wrist. It makes you wonder what planet these nämndemän are on at times. Certainly not the same as us. Justice, it is said - is blind. You can say that again, but not only blind, but deaf and dumb also Can it be they have no wish to punish people in order not to fill the prisons. To be I honest. I cringe at at some of the verdicts and sentences handed out, and the police must do so also, after the work they put into capturing a criminal, only to see the court tell that person 'usch ajabaja, naughty boy -don't do it again, goodbye.

Even with the photographing that has been the subject here, there have been cases which to any normal person woukd have been deemed to have been punishable, and the court has ruled no case to answer. Truly the mind boggles at their so-called 'wisdom'.
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